The Giants’ favorite position in this 2019 NFL Draft is cornerback, as they selected Washburn CB Corey Ballentine with the 180th overall pick in the sixth round.
Big Blue drafted two cornerbacks before Ballentine with Georgia’s DeAndre Baker going No. 30 overall in the first round, and Notre Dame’s Julian Love their first selection on Day 3 in the fourth round (No. 108 overall). Ballentine, though, could be a steal for the Giants in the sixth round as many scouts and evaluators had a fourth round grade for him.
Playing for Division II Washburn, Ballentine impressed with his all-around play. In 46 career games, Ballentine totaled 186 combined tackles, 10 for loss, with five interceptions (three last season), three fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles. He is also lethal in the return game with 1,166 career kickoff return yards.
Ballentine was the winner of the Cliff Harris Award, which goes to the small college defensive player of the year, becoming the first from Washburn to win the award. He was also only one of three DII players to be invited to the Senior Bowl.
So what else should you know about the Giants’ newest cornerback?
- Ballentine was also invited to the NFL Combine, where he posted a 4.47 40-yard dash and 39.5-inch vertical jump.
- When Ballentine came out of high school, he actually went to Washburn to be a track and field star. It wasn’t until his junior season that Ballentine returned to football and immediately made an impact for the Ichabods. He holds multiple school records in the indoor 60 meter and 200 meter, with the 60 meter’s best nine times being in his name. He also holds records in the outdoor 100 meter and 200 meter.
- Here’s what NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein said about Ballentine: “Explosive, NFL-caliber athlete with outstanding speed and plus short-area quickness to match routes and drive on throws. Ballentine’s long speed, play strength and twitch will be coveted by teams looking for man-cover talent.”
- Ballentine is the fourth player in Washburn history to be drafted.